Interesting retort on this decision.....
#111 | POSTED BY EBERLY AT 2022-06-27 03:44 PM
That is indeed an interesting article. The author is a Christian, and yet he felt uncomfortable and disagreed with the prayers delivered by the Steelers' defensive captain each week.
Rather than letting the individual players decide if, when and how they pray, the justices empowered coaches to inflict their prayers on their teams. And high school coaches exert far more influence on their players than our defensive captain did on me.
It is highly unlikely that players on any given team will find their coach's prayer agreeable.
If a team reflects the religious affiliations of the American people as reported by Pew Research, then about 63% of the players will identify as Christians. That would mean a 60-person football squad includes 22 players who are not professing Christians (enough players to fill an entire offensive unit and defensive unit).
And the self-declared Christians are subjected to prayers that may represent interpretations contrary to their beliefs and practices. Some would see praying on the 50-yard line as violating Jesus' admonition to avoid praying on street corners in order to make a show before people. Others may view Christian faith as a moral code to live by yet they may have to listen to a fundamentalist go on about people being lost or saved and heading to hell or heaven.
Or, if the coach is non-Christian, say a Muslim, Christian players must listen to a non-Christian prayer.
When an individual player prays before, during or after a game, it is a voluntary act--a matter of conscience. When a coach leads a prayer, his players are a captive audience who must listen to his ideas, not theirs.
The ruling also violates the First Amendment bar concerning a religious establishment. It permits a public school official to vocalize his or her particular prayer to a captive audience. And coaches are powerful authority figures. They decide who plays and who does not. When coaches initiate a prayer and invite players to participate, the players either conform and listen to, or at least sit through, that prayer or risk their places on the team.